How response time impacts your businessHow long do you typically take to get back to a lead?
Odds are, it’s too long.
When Harvard Business Review studied the response times of web-generated leads, it found companies took an average 42 hours to get back to potential customers. For today’s active, online audience, that’s just too slow.
The internet has changed our expectations. We can watch movies, read a book, and buy just about anything in a matter of seconds. It’s not just fast, it’s instant, placing clients and customers at the heart of business.
In 2017, Microsoft reported 54% of people had higher expectations of customer service compared to the year before (that figure leaps to 66% for 18 to 34-year-olds) – that figure will have only grown since then.
Rightly or wrongly, customers now expect companies like yours to respond at that same lightning pace. Delay getting back to the lead and the impact is three-fold:
Put yourself in your client’s shoes. You’ve requested a quote for legal services, and within minutes, you’ve received an email or a call to discuss the matter. You’re likely to think of them as professional. A firm offering outstanding customer service. A professional respectful of your time and needs.
And even if you don’t take them up, you’re much more likely to keep that firm in mind the next time you require legal support. Remember, if someone returns to you for business outside of The Law Superstore, you don’t pay for that lead again. You’ve cultivated that customer. You’ve made the right impression, and potentially gained a lifetime customer out of one prompt response.
Losing out to rivals
One study, from Lead Connect, showed 78% of customers choose the first company to respond to their enquiry. If you’re offering an excellent service, being the first one to respond gives the customer the chance to trust you before they’ve even considered anyone else.
By letting leads fester in an inbox, you’re paying for leads another company is taking. That’s not sustainable over a long period of time – especially when it’s easily rectified.
Lead quality degradation
According to a report from Lead Response Management, ‘the odds of making a successful contact with a lead are 100 times greater when a contact attempt occurs within 5 minutes, compared to 30 minutes after the lead was submitted.’
In other words, with every passing minute, the odds of converting a lead significantly drops. Their problem has been resolved; they’ve chosen a different firm; they no longer need you.
Finding the ideal lead response timeStrike, as they say, while the iron is hot.
When a customer searches for a quote, they’re ready and waiting; they’re available and they’re thinking about their issue right there and then. It’s the perfect time to reach out, before anyone else can, to see how you can help. Our own data shows a direct correlation between a 24-hour response time and lead conversion.
As a rule of thumb:
- 5 minutes is excellent
- 1 hour is great
- 24 hours is good
- 24 hours + is a wasted opportunity
And that includes weekends. As a professional, you may be used to the traditional 9-to-5 on weekdays, but technology – and increasingly demanding service expectations – have long erased that concept in the minds of customers.
The fact is, many customers today simply demand faster and faster responses from your business. That’s the findings from Toister Solutions, with a study that revealed 33.4% of UK customers expect a response within an hour or less. Broken down by age, we see almost identical expectations – with the 55-64-year-old demographic the most demanding (36.3% expect a response within the hour).
That doesn’t mean cancelling your plans and putting the family walk on hold. A brief acknowledgement email will do the trick, letting the customer know you’re there and thinking about their issue. Automate these interactions and you’ll be able to maintain excellent customer service even while you work on other cases.
Improve your response timeToday, all businesses should have a standard response time – the time it takes from first contact with a customer to your response, whether you make a quick call or fire over an email. It’s easily measurable and quantifiable against your ROI.
However, improving lead response time goes beyond the immediate.
Think longer term.
Focus on customer experience.
It’s the key to converting your online leads. Perhaps just as important, a higher level of service makes it far more likely for those invaluable customers to return (and laud your efforts to family and friends). And what is the most important factor for a great customer experience? Fast response time.
It’s no surprise, then, that by contacting a lead within a minute sees a 391% increase in conversions. With the whole world at their fingertips, competition has never been more fierce, and customers have greater choice than ever before – so, make sure they choose your firm.
Of all the things you can do to convert a lead, response time is the most effective and the easiest to organise. It’s even easier with automation tools, letting you assign task to a specific staff member, organising a rota, or making use of different alerts in your partner dashboard.
Make clear to your staff how important that response time is, start tracking the numbers and the impact – you might be surprised how much of a difference to conversion it will make.
For more tips on increasing conversion with The Law Superstore, have a chat with our legal sales managers, or spend some time exploring your partner dashboard.